To build a Viking ship – a patchwork of historical clues

In March of 2010 the construction of the largest Viking ship ever built in modern times began.

The Vikings left almost no record of how they built their ships, or how they sailed them. Draken Harald Hårfagre is a recreation of what the Vikings would call a “Great Ship”, built with archaeological knowledge of found ships, using old boatbuilding traditions and the legends of Viking ships from the Norse sagas.

Plank by plank, nail by nail, more than 10 000 of them, the ship was constructed by a band of experienced boat builders, historians, craftsmen and artists.

115 feet from stem to stern, 26 feet wide, 260 square meters of silk sail and a 79 feet tall mast made from Douglas fir. She is a seaworthy ship, able to sail the Oceans of the World.

The ship was named after King Harald Hårfagre, the king who unified Norway, and had his royal seat in Avaldsnes near Haugesund, Norway. The home port of Draken Harald Hårfagre.

In 2014 the maiden voyage went from Haugesund, across the North sea landing old Viking territories in the British Isles and Ireland.


Fine craftsmanship built Draken Harald Hårfagre, with materials used throughout history. Oak, tar, hemp, iron and silk.


Mounting a iron ring to the Beitås. (the part that supports the lower part of the sail)

wood carving

Read more:

Stirn Ornamentation



Who where the Vikings?


Without the Viking ships –
no Viking Age

The Vikings were accomplished navigators, artisans, traders and story tellers, but their greatest triumph was the ship they built.